Look out for an oyster bar and gastropub to come to the former 27th Ward library building on Chicago Avenue in around two months. Jay Runnfeldt, a partner in Three Headed Productions (The Drawing Room, The Back Room), took over the old Branch 27 space last week and has already commenced construction on Bow & Stern Oyster Bar.
Runnfeldt is renovating the former American bistro to create duplicate rooms. He's adding a second bar, an oyster bar ("the first thing you'll see is someone shucking oysters," he says), and expanded booth seating. The atrium—the focal point of Branch 27 that Runnfeldt calls "gorgeous"—will only receive cosmetic changes.
Three Headed Productions was known for its nightlife and drink-focused concepts. But the team recently sold off Evil Olive, Cans, and Salud (the last two shuttered) and are focusing on food-driven projects. To that end, Runnfeldt calls Bow & Stern "food-focused" and is in the process of hiring a chef. In addition to oysters, expect a full menu of fish, poultry, steaks, and appetizers.
Bow & Stern's drink menu will revolve around craft beer and cocktails. While The Drawing Room is known for its extensive "culinary cocktail menu," Runnfeldt says the drinks here will be more approachable. Expect a 10-cocktail mix of seasonals, culinarys, and classics.
Runnfeldt says he's loved oysters since he was 11, wanted the space since he first saw it three years ago, and has been working on a deal for six months. He calls the stretch of Chicago Avenue a "classic Chicago street" and sees it as a bridge between Wicker Park and downtown. He hopes to finally serve oysters there in December.
· Three Headed Productions [Official Site]
· Last Call For Branch 27 [-ECHI-]